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Six killed in crash were Iraqi refugees

5:22 PM, Oct 18, 2013   |    comments
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UPPER ARLINGTON -- Police say six people were killed and an officer was injured when a car and a cruiser collided at an intersection just northeast of Ohio's capital overnight.

An officer from the Columbus suburb of Upper Arlington was responding to an armed robbery report when the crash occurred early Friday. Officials say the cruiser's lights were flashing, and they believe the siren also was being used.

The people killed in the other vehicle included a small child. Perry Township's police chief says authorities believe but haven't confirmed that the driver and a woman riding with him were the parents of the other four people, all girls.

The head of the local police union says the officer suffered a serious head injury but was in stable condition at a hospital.

A social worker says the six victims were all members of the same family and were Iraqi refugees.

The family members were driving home from holiday visits with family and friends at the time of the accident.

Majeda Mohammad works for Community Refugee and Immigration Services in Columbus. He says Eid Badi Shahad and his family had come from Basra, Iraq, to Ohio about three years ago.

Shahad, his wife and their four daughters were killed in the wreck. Mohammad said Friday that Shahad's mother and his four sons were home at the time of the accident.

Mohammad says the family had been out making visits as part of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha.

Mohammad called the family wonderful and says people are shocked.

The Associated Press

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